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Hunt for little boy 'Thomas' seen screaming as man held his arm

By This is Gloucestershire  |  Posted: September 28, 2012

Gloucestershire Constabulary

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A young boy called 'Thomas' was seen screaming as a man apparently tried to drag him into a Cheltenham park.

Now police are trying to track down the boy to see if a crime has been committed.

The incident happened in Bishops Cleeve yesterday.

Police received a report at 6.10pm that around 30 minutes previously witnesses had seen a man holding onto a boy’s arm at the park on Two Hedges Road.

The child was screaming and as the man let go the boy ran away.

The man was described as black, around 5ft 9” tall and of slim build. He was wearing a grey top with two white stripes on it, black tracksuit bottoms, brown boots, sunglasses and a baseball cap.

It’s thought that the boy might be called Thomas and aged around 7 or 8 years old.

Inspector Owen Hughes said: “We don’t yet know the circumstances surrounding this incident and whether or not the boy and man are known to each other but we are taking it very seriously and need to speak to both of them, as well as anyone else that was in the park at the time.

“We’ve been carrying out enquiries with the local schools to try and identify the boy and following the report officers searched the area but neither the man nor the boy were found.

“As always we would also encourage parents to discuss the importance of the stranger danger message with their children.”

Anyone with any information about the incident is asked to contact Gloucestershire Police on 101, quoting incident number 335 of September 28.

You can also give information anonymously by contacting the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111

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  • chr1582  |  October 03 2012, 3:52PM

    unless they got his name from a thomas the tank engine coat he was wearing and just made assumptions!

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  • cheltenham20  |  September 30 2012, 9:23AM

    Tig , you should take this story down, PC plods are not the brightest of people, but this story takes a bit of swallowing...

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  • jayne80  |  September 29 2012, 8:50PM

    makes absolutely NO sense!!!!

    |   3
  • EllJay1  |  September 29 2012, 12:34PM

    Hoax call perhaps, since the park does not exist!

    |   3
  • matsiemoo  |  September 29 2012, 12:16AM

    There is no park on Two Hedges Road !!!!!

    |   7
  • gallopingbear  |  September 28 2012, 3:24PM

    It may be that somebody else in the park vaguely recognised the boy as being called Thomas, but wasn't sure. The incident clearly preyed on somebody's mind as they waited 30mins before deciding to call it in-so I'm guessing it was a little more than the usual naughty child being pulled along. Perhaps 'Thomas' was too frightened to tell his parents and so it didn't get reported. It's as well to check it out, just in case it was a snatch attempt.

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  • FreeRadical1  |  September 28 2012, 3:01PM

    As the inspector said: "We don't yet know the circumstances surrounding this incident..." If I were to report every time that I see a parent dragging a reluctant, screaming child along the street, into a park, home from the park, into or out of a shop in Gloucester, I could snarl up the entire Gloucester area police force. If no-one has reported that their child has been attacked, then why do the police think that a crime has been committed? The witness didn't say that the boy had been hit or attacked. Is there more to this incident than has been reported?

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  • Ysedra  |  September 28 2012, 2:29PM

    Seems odd. Assuming the name was overheard, the boy wouldn't be shouting his own name, so either the man knew it, or somebody else was there who knew the boy. Or was it on the boy's clothing?

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  • mikehibby  |  September 28 2012, 2:07PM

    ummmm, description of the kid??

    |   10